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Jobs in France

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In France, a degree or a Master’s degree doesn’t allow you to find a job (except if you decide to work for a private company). But French people usually want to work for the State because jobs that are paid by the State enjoy the “Security of Employment”, which means that you cannot be fired. To be able to work for the State, people have to pass a “concours” (a public exam, which is usually very difficult).

The more difficult the concours, the higher the job will rank (and therefore, higher the income). For example, if 10 000 candidates are taking the same concours for only 500 jobs, it is considered a very tough exam. It will correspond to “Category A”. On the contrary, “Category D” means that the concours is very accessible.

  • Category A is the highest and includes jobs such as: engineer, lawyer, doctor, teacher, tax inspector, police superintendent…

Surprisingly, the teaching profession is extremely difficult to enter in France.

No matter the level you want to teach (nursery, primary, high-school, university…), you will have to take several exams that correspond to Category A. This is because there are several hundred thousands of candidates who are competing for a few teaching jobs! The demand for teachers in France has never been so low as it is today. Because teachers are recruited by Inspectors from the “National Education” and are paid by the State (and not by the school in which they are working), the government is constantly reducing the number of teaching jobs to save money!

As a consequence, Primary school teachers often end up teaching 2 classes of different levels at the same time. In addition to that, a Primary school teacher has to teach ALL THE SUBJECTS as we do not have a specific teacher to teach Physical Education, English, etc.

13 subjects have to be taught in Primary school, which is huge! (French (including Grammar), Mathematics, History, Geography, Biology, Physics, Technology, Youth Literature, English, Civic Education, Music, Arts and Design, and Physical Education.

Teachers in France are among those who are working the most (65-70 hours a week).

In spite of all this, most students want to be a teacher in France because they want to have “the security of employment”.

teacher gif

  • Category B corresponds to jobs such as: nurse, accounting manager, Human Resources manager…
  • Category C: secretary, insurance broker, policeman, firefighter…
  • Category D: cleaning agent, cashier..

Jobs that are not paid by the State do not require a concours but might ask for a specific degree/Master’s degree or some work experience.

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